Hopelessly Devoted to: Athena Massey

Published December 10, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

athena-massey

Maria Ford, Jillian McWhirter, Sherrie Rose, Charlie Spradling, Melissa Moore, Joan Severance…These are names that fans of legendary producer Roger Corman’s ‘90s output should be familiar with. The glorious Athena Massey though, was, perhaps, the most exotically mysterious of these women – and, without a doubt, the most Stanislavski-an in her approach to her roles. Whether playing a blood starved alien, an undercover police officer or a bad-ass covert agent, this beauty gave it her all.

star-portalStar Portal, perhaps the most ridiculously fun entry here, finds Massey imbuing her role of Quad Rena/Sarah with both a solemnity and a childish curiosity. Yet another reworking of Corman’s Not of This Earth, this production also benefits from subtle traces of The Terminator and, nicely, places Massey in the alien role usually embodied by a male. Massey’s otherworldly goddess is bloodthirsty – a slaughtered victim or two is hung upside down to be drained of their fluids – but she supplies enough childlike confusion and regret to make this deadly femme qualify as the piece’s heroine. Choppily processed and obvious filmed on the cheap…the love interest, played by Steven Bauer, is almost invisible to the plot…this still provides enough zaniness to qualify as a solid example of the product  that was churned out to meet the demands of the burgeoning cable market in a, regrettably, bygone era.shadow-of-a-scream

Shadow of a Scream (AKA The Unspeakable), meanwhile, truly contains some of Massey’s finest work. The plot, again, is a reworking of everything from Stripped to Kill to (the notoriously protested, Al Pacino fronted) Cruising. But as Alice Redmond, a cop who goes undercover to trap a suspected serial killer, Massey shows a wide range of emotions. Even as her character, predictably, begins to be drawn into the sadomasochistic lifestyle of the man she is tracking, as an actress she colors in all the dots of her character’s personality, showing vulnerability and strength. Despite co-stars from two major television shows, 30 Something’s Timothy Busfield and Baywatch’s David Chokachi, this is definitely her show. It’s too bad, therefore, that the ending comes off so abruptly, almost leaving the audience confused as to who the killer is. The answer may be far too predictable for some, but Massey’s skill here is never in doubt and, as previously mentioned, this serves as an amazing showcase for all of her many talents.

terminationNice believability is also supplied with Terminaton Man, another low budget epic about a commando squad trying to stop a Serbian terrorist from unleashing a deadly nerve gas. As Delilah Shane – great name, no? – Massey provides kick-ass bravado here and truly makes you trust in her character’s flintiness and skill.  Impressively, Massey also makes you believe that the gratuitous nudity that her character is subjected to is all part of her take no shit attitude and not just an exploitive script requirement – true evidence of her compelling acting skills, if there ever was one.

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Be sure to become hopelessly devoted to Athena Massey, yourselves, by following her at https://www.facebook.com/Athena-Massey-128121317206690.

…and until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Amanda Lear

Published December 5, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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A mysterious background and an exotic appeal have been the mainstays of the eclectic Amanda Lear’s career. She is also one of the few female artists to produce a concept album that rivals such fare as Alice Cooper’s From the Inside and the self-titled debut album from A Flock of Seagulls.

Lear’s second album, Sweet Revenge, detailed the adventures of a beauty who sells her soul to the devil for glitter and gold, but who eventually sacrifices all she has gained for love.

Done disco-style, the recording’s hit single, Follow Me, has become Lear’s signature number and details how the lord of darkness tempts the heroine of the piece into a life of sophisticated debauchery.

Still recording and performing, Lear can be followed at https://www.facebook.com/reinelear and www.amandalear.com.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Book Review: Sharon Farrell, Siân Phillips

Published December 4, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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Written in completely different styles and featuring authors who arrive at their writing points from much different backgrounds, the memoirs of Siân Phillips (The Doctor and the Devils, Hammer House of Horror) and Sharon Farrell (It’s Alive, Night of the Comet) still manage to broker in the much of the same emotional currency and definitely illustrate how it is still the men in society who continue to steadily manipulate the fates of those around them.

sian-public-placesA prodigiously talented theater actress, Wales bred Phillips details her courtship and years of marriage to Peter O’Toole in Public Places, which was first published in the United States in 2003. While Phillips engaged, successfully, in a performing arts career, O’Toole, obviously, was the more famous of the two, reaching a worldwide platform with Lawrence of Arabia. He also definitely, as evenly and poetically described by Phillips, controlled the many specifics of their lives together. Fairly, Phillips often revels in the adventures she experienced while visiting O’Toole on his various film sets and, lovingly, describes a remote home on a mountain that she, painstakingly, created for him and their two daughters.

Phillips also shares stories of such legends as Katharine Hepburn, who frightened her children by vehemently suggesting that they should become something useful like plumbers, and My Fair Lady’s pompous Rex Harrison. Harrison, known for his misogynistic temper, is painted truthfully here and Phillips shows grace and courage when explaining how she mastered his moods while performing on stage with him. sian-hammer

In deep contrast to Phillips’ artfully measured tones, Farrell’s “Hollywood Princess” From Sioux City, Iowa is a messy and rambunctious offering, often filled with grammatical errors and with the names of famous participants misspelled. Yet, with pluck and little sense of bitterness, the actress traces her career which was often sidetracked by affairs, a miscarriage, rape, medical issues and mismanagement.

As with Phillips’ offering, Farrell’s honestly reveals how the males in power, here in LA (and beyond), frequently, shaped her destiny – from the unstableness of Hawaii Five-O’s Jack Lord to the peculiarities of Bill Bell, the creator of the popular soap The Young and the Restless. Farrell frequently found herself jobless due to their whims and when, onset, was subjected to unprofessionally bizarre behavior – prime examples being Dennis Hooper peeing on her while filming Out of Blue and a physical attack from a fellow performer on the location of The Reivers.

Still, Farrell, who suffers from bi-polar disorder, is often hardest on herself here and she acknowledges her own responsibility in many of the choices that she made. She is full of passion and heart and, despite the lack of editing, often sets up a nice sense of atmosphere and sense of time and place even when her viewpoint rambles some.

its-alive-sharon-farrellUnfortunately, neither actress concentrates much on their genre offerings here. Phillips does, happily, describe her interesting audition for David Lynch’s Dune and Farrell gives passing mention to such projects as The Premonition and The Fifth Floor. But, what is most poignant and interesting about each book, is the conclusion that readers can draw about society, itself. It is still a straight man’s world, as plainly evidenced in both writers’ circumstances. Here, they show how they overcame and thrived despite that sometimes overpowering obstacle.

Public Places is available, on sale, from various dealers on Amazon. Farrell’s tome, meanwhile, can be purchased from her at www.sharonfarrell.com.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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 (Images of are Phillips in Hammer House of Horror and Farrell in It’s Alive.)

 

Dreaming of Kaycee Ortiz

Published December 1, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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I don’t know about you, but I actually sleep better knowing that the divine Kaycee Ortiz is out there creating amazing music – including Dream Warrior – a spookily hypnotic and potently empowering tribute to the A Nightmare on Elm Street legacy.

Nocturnal bliss, no?

…and to keep up with all Ortiz’s dynamic activities and poetic offerings, be sure to follow along at: https://www.facebook.com/KayceeOrtiz21.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Cheryl Ladd

Published November 27, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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She may be best known as the perkiest angel ever, but the heavenly Cheryl Ladd also lent her acting talents to such horror productions as Gary Sherman’s hidden gem Lisa and such interesting television offerings as Jekyll and Hyde, which found her co-starring opposite the irreplaceable Michael Caine, and The Haunting of Lisa (a theme there, h-m-m-m?). cheryl-ladd-lisa

Proving herself to be quite unstoppable, Ladd even gained a following as a warbler of tunes, releasing several albums, including one that yielded a minor hit, Think It Over. Meanwhile, as a veteran of several variety specials, Ladd, colorfully, covered Tropical Nights, on one such appearance. As the title song of a Liza Minnelli album, it may not contain an inkling of horror pedigree, but it surely applies, mightily, to the gay portion of this enterprise.

Currently, the divine Ladd is offering fun seasonal memorabilia at her website, www.cherylladd.com.

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Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Tom Neyman: An Appreciation

Published November 26, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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Vanity (Action Jackson), Lucinda Dooling (Lovely But Deadly), Alexis Arquette (Bride of Chucky), Kim McGuire (Cry-Baby), legendary director-writers Herschell Gordon Lewis and Ted V. Mikels…The film industry has lost a slew of its iconic outsiders in 2016. Now the immortal Tom Neyman can be added to that list.

Neyman, who passed away at the age of 80 on November 13th, may be the most unusual of all these creative entities, though. An accomplished stage actor, Neyman is known for only one celluloid outing – a role that took him over 25 years to gain any notoriety for. But, as The Master in Manos: The Hands of Fate, Neyman strikes such a foreboding and impressive figure that he, ultimately, should go down in history as one of the most essential horror antagonists of all time.

Regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, Manos finally found public appreciation, after having been  exiled to oblivion after its 1966 premiere, when Mystery Science Theater 3000 parodied it on a classic 1993 episode. Ever since, Neyman has gained a deserved, ever growing following. In fact, horror icon Elvira is among the movie’s biggest fans and a recent poll revealed the Manos show to be MST3K viewers’ favorite episode of all time.

Therefore, Neyman is so much more than an actor in a singular role. He will always be a prime example of the impossible come to life – of that ray of hope beaming through the tangled corridors of darkness. He found an odd fame, decades after it should have come, from a movie that many would dismiss outright.

He is the role model for everyone who strives, despite the odds, to connect with an unforgiving, uninterested public. He is one for the believers and for society’s hardworking misfits…and his legacy will live on forever!

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Of further note: Neyman, briefly, reprised his role of The Master in the upcoming Manos Returns, the long awaited Manos sequel: https://www.facebook.com/manosreturns.

Jackey Neyman Jones, Manos’ Debbie and Tom’s beloved daughter, maintains a blog, featuring stories of her father, as well. https://www.facebook.com/Debbiesmanos/

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Review: Honey

Published November 25, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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Is there such a thing as domestic bliss? Well, when you are brilliant artist-cartoonist Corinne Halbert there is!

Honey, Halbert’s latest comic details the adventures of the world’s happiest couple. Who cares if one of them just happens to be dead? And…well…rotting?!? Often hilarious, completely twisted and surprisingly sweet, this work just might prove to be Halbert, known for the savagely cool Hate Baby, at her best.

Imbued with her love of horror and the sexually bizarre (or is that normal?), Honey is available for purchase from Halbert at http://corinnehalbert.bigcartel.com/

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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